Parents are key partners in helping and supporting their children’s learning.
A basic responsibility in this is to ensure your child attends school regularly and arrives on time. In this way, your child’s opportunity for success is maximised, by allowing him/her to keep up with the pace of learning and progress planned by the school. Trying to catch up through extra written tasks at home is not as effective as the direct teaching provided in class! Feeling ‘left behind’ in schoolwork also destroys a child’s self – confidence, which further hinders progress and success. Everyone wants the very best for their children. However, the school can only fulfil its side of the partnership when children are in school.
This information is designed to provide parents with important information about their role and legal responsibility in relation to their child’s regular attendance.
At St. George’s School we want the very best for your child – but we can’t do it alone. Help us help your child, by making sure he/she attends school regularly and punctually.
Please ensure you give your child the education and opportunity s/he deserves:
- Make sure your child goes to school every day (unless he/she is ill). This encourages good habits and best promotes learning and progress.
- Contact the school on the first day of your child’s illness, if possible. The school staff will give your message to your child’s teacher, as it is the teacher who registers your child’s attendance first thing every morning/afternoon.
- Always give your child a note explaining the reason and dates of absence for the class teacher on the day your child returns to school, even if you have contacted the school.
- Ensure your child arrives on time. This properly supports his/her day’s learning and protects other children from disruption to their learning.
- Seek advance permission for special occasion absence (weddings etc).
- Put your child’s attendance at school before your personal convenience.
- Avoid holidays during term time.
- Consult the doctor if your child seems to keep persistent poor health.
Why must my child go to school?
- Having a good education will give your child the best possible start in life, developing the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to increase his/her opportunities and choices in life.
- Regular attendance at school enables your child to:
- develop confidence
- develop self-worth
- make the progress s/he is capable of
- develop more social skills
- develop learning skills
- feel more included in friendships
- Attending regularly and punctually also helps your child develop an important life skill – particularly for the world at work.
The average child in England has an attendance rate of 95% – less than 10 days absence in a school year.
ALSO – SCHOOL IS FUN!
If you have any difficulties ensuring good timekeeping and attendance, please contact the Headteacher who will be happy to discuss the problem, and try to help you.
Must parents support regular attendance?
Because of the nationally recognised importance of attendance to a child’s achievement, opportunities and attainment, the Headteacher has a duty to monitor pupils’ attendance levels and will often contact parents regarding attendance/timekeeping concerns. This may be by mail or requesting the Attendance Officer to undertake a home visit.
Here are some of the reasons, which might prompt contact from the Headteacher or Attendance Officer.
- Two days or more absence over the course of a week
- A pattern of absence developing e.g.Fridays off
- A significant number of absences over a period of time (even where notes have been provided by parents)
- Poor timekeeping
- Below average attendance levels
What if parents don’t support regular attendance?
The local Authority is responsible by law for ensuring that pupils of compulsory school age attend regularly, so …
- If your child is not attending school regularly, an attendance officer may visit you
- If your child’s attendance does not improve you may be summoned to appear before the local Attendance Council to explain the reason for the non-attendance
- The Attendance Council can send you for prosecution where you could be fined up to £1000 and/or imprisoned for up to one month
- The Attendance Council can also refer your child to the Reporter to the Children’s Panel or the Social Work Services.